Newton County Wrongful Death Attorney
If a loved one was injured in a car accident, they could sue for compensation. But what happens if they unfortunately died? Is the driver at fault for the collision let off the hook?
Actually, no. Instead, certain surviving family members can bring a lawsuit for compensation. This action is called a “wrongful death” lawsuit, and it requires careful planning to be brought successfully. To improve your chances of success, you should meet with a Newton County wrongful death attorney for a free consultation.
Georgia’s Wrongful Death Statute
You can find Georgia’s wrongful death statute in Title 51 of the Georgia Code. There are several important provisions you need to be aware of.
First, § 51-4-1 defines wrongful death as the death of a person resulting from crime, negligence, or defectively manufactured property. For example, if someone struck your loved one as he was crossing the street, then you might have a claim for wrongful death if the driver was negligent. Similarly, if your loved one was intentionally killed, you also have a case for wrongful death.
Second, § 51-4-2 identifies who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in court:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- If there is no surviving spouse, then the surviving children of the decedent
If a minor child is killed, then § 19-7-1 gives the parents the right to bring a wrongful death action. If they are married, they share this right jointly. If divorced, then each parent has an independent right to participate or decline to participate in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Compensation Available for Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits aim to relieve most of the unfair financial effects of losing a loved one. To that end, you can receive compensation for the following:
- Lost wages. This is the amount of money a jury reasonably believes your loved one could have earned, based on age, education, health, and work experience at the time of death. For example, someone who had a college degree and experience as a manager could be expected to earn more than someone who had a high school diploma and was working as a cashier.
- Lost benefits. These are benefits your loved one could have earned at their jobs had they lived.
- Loss of companionship or care. Losing a loved one is much more than merely an economic loss. You also lose the relationship you had with this person. You can receive compensation for the loss of their companionship and other benefits.
The deceased’s estate can also bring a legal action to recover compensation for losses incurred by the accident that led to their death. The estate can receive money related to:
- Medical expenses to treat the deceased’s last injury or illness. For example, your loved one might have spent a week in the hospital on life support before finally passing. The estate can be reimbursed for these expenses.
- Funeral/burial expenses. The estate will probably pay for any funeral services, so it can receive reimbursement for these sums.
- Pain and suffering your loved one consciously endured before dying. For example, your loved one might have slipped in and out of consciousness for a week, experiencing intense pain each time he was awake. The estate can receive money to compensate for this pain.
The estate’s personal representative will have to file the suit to recover these monies. If you are both a spouse and a personal representative, you should meet with a Newton County wrongful death attorney for assistance.
Georgia gives family members two years to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and the clock starts ticking from the date of death. If your child was killed on January 15, 2018, for example, then you have until January 15, 2020 to file the lawsuit in the correct court.
Unfortunately, if you wait too long, then a judge can dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning you cannot refile it somewhere else at a later date. Instead, you forever lose out on the ability to receive compensation for the untimely death of your loved one.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Newton County
MG Law has represented many grieving family members in wrongful death lawsuits. We understand how difficult this time is for everybody, including those with young children who have just lost a parent. Nevertheless, you need to act quickly to protect your rights.
If you hire us, we can swing into action and lift this burden from your shoulders. Our legal team is skilled at identifying the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death and knows how to seek maximum compensation for your losses. Although no amount of money can ever replace a spouse, parent, or child, you need to hold the at-fault party accountable when their wrongful conduct leads to someone’s death.
Contact us today. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers in Newton County by calling 678-210-6690.